• September 4, 2015


The Celtic League Director of Information has written to the Treasury Minister urging him to invest more effort in tackling the ‘black economy’and corporate tax cheats who fiddle everyday living cost via company expense accounts.

Bernard Moffatt cites government plans by the Treasury to increase taxes on lower/middle income workers and also adjust NI and he says every pound lost to the ‘tax cheats’ has to be made up from honest tax payers.

He points out senior figures in the Treasury had concerns years ago but there was no political will to address the issue and nothing was done.

Text of Treasury Minister letter below:

“Hon Eddie Teare, ACIB, MHK
Isle of Man Treasury Minister
Government Offices
Bucks Road
Isle of Man

4th September 2015

Dear Minister,

Ref: Income Tax

Some years ago when I was a member (for the Isle of Man TUC) of the Manx National Economic Development Council I was asked to go to a ‘side meeting’ by the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of the Treasury. At the meeting he outlined concerns about the amount of monies being lost from Tax revenue due to the so called ‘black economy’.

For the Trade Union side I agreed that this was a problem and we would support any initiative that the government proposed. However I qualified this by saying that equally as damaging (if not more so) in terms of tax take was the way in which some businesses and CEO of larger companies and professionals used expenses and abused benefits in kind (including in some instances accommodation and motoring costs) to meet what the ‘man in the street’ would regard as day to day costs.

There was some further discussion later on this latter point and I think you may find reference to this in the minutes of the MNEDC although from my recollection these were not verbatim and simply noted conclusions reached.

In any event I do not recall the CFOs original concerns which I feel sure were well founded were ever addressed. I do not incidentally believe this was a failing at the time by Officers of the Treasury but more down to an absence of political will.

In these straitened times when you are proposing changes to both NI and taxation which will impact lower/middle earners I wondered what steps you were taking to address the black economy and also the expenses arena of the corporate tax cheats.

It seems quite obscene frankly that at a time the Island has food banks some in the business community can dine out on expenses! Equally when the Island contemplates withdrawing bus passes for senior citizens it seems bizarre that CEOs and Professionals can use a variety of devices to evade motoring costs.

I do hope government will make this an area of priority and I trust now you have a new CFO in post they will ‘hit the ground running’ by addressing these concerns.

Obviously every tax pound evaded by those in the ‘black economy’ or swindled by those with access to corporate expenses facilities increases the tax burden on those who do honestly meet their taxation liabilities.

Yours sincerely

Bernard Moffatt

Director of Information
Celtic League”

In addition to being an Officer of the Celtic League Bernard Moffatt is the former full time TGWU Official on the Isle of Man. He was President of the Isle of Man Trades Council for twenty five years. He served on the Committee for the Stability of the Economy and when it was superseded on the Manx National Economic Development Committee for over thirty years.

Issued by the Celtic News



The Celtic League was established in 1961and has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It works to promote cooperation between these countries and campaigns on a broad range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, monitors all military activity and focuses on socio-economic issues


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